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Date of the Crucifixion Earthquake: Friday, April 3, 33 AD?

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The Gospel and Pilate’s report to Roman Emperor Tiberius mentions that there was an earthquake at the time of Jesus Christ’s death at the age of 33 on the cross at 3 p.m. The International Geology Review delved into an earthquake purported to have taken place on the same date as Jesus’ crucifixion. Combining biblical citations with geological research, it is suggested that the date of the earthquake may have been Friday, April 3, 33 A.D.

The investigation into the date of Jesus’s crucifixion and its potential connection to an earthquake has garnered significant attention. Researchers have tied earthquake data with the Gospels to propose that Jesus died on (Good Friday), Friday, April 3, 33 AD, matching this date to seismic activity around the Dead Sea, approximately 13 miles from Jerusalem. This conclusion is based on a combination of geological records, textual accounts, and astronomical data, as well as the Jewish calendar, indicating that this date is the best possible match for the crucifixion.

The geological evidence suggests that there were at least two major earthquakes in the region, one in 31 B.C. and another between the years 26 and 36 A.D., with the latter being of particular interest in relation to the crucifixion of Jesus.

Matthew is a witness of this event and in verse 27, he states:

“And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split and the tombs broke open: and many bodies of the saints that had slept arose. And coming out of the tombs after his resurrection, came into the holy city, and appeared to many.”

Geologist Jefferson Williams of Supersonic Geophysical conducted an analysis of earthquake activity in the region by studying three cores from the Ein Gedi Spa beach adjacent to the Dead Sea. This research aimed to investigate seismic events in the area and their potential correlation with historical events, particularly the crucifixion of Jesus.

The muds of the Dead Sea have the capacity to record earthquakes. Typically, sediments accumulate in the Dead Sea layer by layer, resulting in a steadily growing thickness of Dead Sea mud. However, during earthquakes, the top layer deforms, leaving behind what is known as a seismite.

Jefferson Williams wrote, approximately 36 hours after the first earthquake, Matthew reports another earthquake; what today might be called an aftershock. The quote from Matthew mentions a Rolling Stone being jarred open and revealing an empty tomb.

And in the end of the sabbath, when it began to dawn towards the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalen and the other Mary, to see the sepulchre. And behold there was a great earthquake. For an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and coming, rolled back the stone, and sat upon it. – Matthew 28:1-8

New Testament Scholarship aligns on several crucial points regarding the date of the crucifixion:

  • Timeframe: The crucifixion is believed to have occurred between 26 and 36 A.D..
  • Season and Timing: It is widely accepted that the crucifixion took place during spring, around the time of Passover, specifically on Good Friday, which corresponds to the 14th or 15th Nisan in the Jewish Calendar .
  • Likely Years: While the exact year remains unknown, two years, 30 and 33 A.D., are most commonly cited as the most likely years of the crucifixion.

The darkness reported in three of the four canonical gospels, lasting from noon to 3 pm, is a significant event surrounding the crucifixion of Jesus. This darkness is described in Matthew 27:45, Mark 15:33, and Luke 23:44, with each gospel noting the darkness from the 6th to the 9th hour of daylight. This event is widely regarded as a supernatural occurrence and is not attributed to a solar eclipse. The timing of the crucifixion, around the time of Passover, aligns with the full moon, making a solar eclipse an impossibility, as it can only occur during a new moon. The term “the ninth hour,” as mentioned in the biblical accounts, corresponds to what we would now refer to as 3:00 p.m.

The darkness described in the gospels is a profound and symbolic element of the crucifixion narrative, signifying the gravity of the event and its significance in Christian theology. This supernatural darkness is a powerful and evocative symbol, representing the profound spiritual and cosmic implications of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross.

In AD 41, King Agrippa made plans to repair the temple, probably owing partly to the damage to the temple by the crucifixion earthquake among other local earth tremors, but these plans remained unrealized at his death in AD 44.

According to geologist Jefferson Williams, our Lord Jesus Christ died on the Cross:

at the age of 33, at 3:00 pm, on April 3, obviously in the BC calendar year 33 AD.

The BC calendar began based on the birth of Christ. Years before the birth of Jesus are designated as BC, while those following his birth are designated AD.

AD represents the Latin words “Anno Domini,” meaning “year of the Lord” or more properly “Anno Domini Nostri Jesu Christi,” referring to the birth of Jesus Christ. This system is important to Christians as it marks the years based on the life of Jesus, with everything before His coming in the world designated as BC.

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